Opening Day Preview: Julio Urías Starts; Dodgers Lineup Vs. Diamondbacks

The Los Angeles Dodgers begin their 2023 slate with an Opening Night matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium, the first time the two will meet to start a season since 2019.

After failing to make it out of the National League Division Series in last year’s playoffs, the Dodgers turn to left-hander Julio Urías to kick off the new season. He is the fifth different starter to take the mound on Opening Day for the Dodgers since 2011.

Clayton Kershaw’s slow ramp-up in Spring Training pushed his availability back, and although the future Hall of Famer won’t be making his 10th Opening Day start, he believes Urías was deserving of the opportunity.

Urías has quietly been one of the best starters in all of baseball after finishing within the top seven in Cy Young voting the past two seasons. Last season he held a 17-7 record to go along with a 2.16 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 3.71 FIP across 31 starts.

The 26-year-old is entering his eighth season with Dodgers and on the final year of his current contract.

Urías is opposed by Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen, another one of baseball’s finest starting pitchers. The 27-year-old is coming off his best season after carrying a 2.54 ERA across 31 starts, allowing a .186 batting average to opposing hitters.

Gallen has made nine career starts against the Dodgers, and in 54.2 innings pitched, owns a 2.30 ERA with a .174 batting average allowed.

Manager Dave Roberts is tasked with constructing a lineup void of Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger, two staples in the Dodgers organization who found new homes in the offseason. But they’ve added J.D. Martinez as a full-time designated hitter, bringing in former Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta and acquired Miguel Rojas.

Dodgers rookies should have quite the impact during the 2023 season, starting with Miguel Vargas, who is expected to see significant time at second base, and James Outman, who earned a spot on the Opening Day roster after a fabulous spring camp.

The Dodgers are 36-29 on Opening Day since 1958 and 11-3 in their last 14.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
DH: J.D. Martinez
LF: David Peralta
2B: Miguel Vargas
CF: James Outman
SS: Miguel Rojas

Diamondbacks lineup

DH: Kyle Lewis
2B: Ketel Marte
LF: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
1B: Christian Walker
3B: Evan Longoria
SS: Nick Ahmed
CF: Corbin Carroll
C: Gabriel Moreno
RF: Jake McCarthy

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